Our parish of St Benedict’s RC, La Romaine recognises, appreciates, applauds and validates, the stewardship of Matthew Findley who holds the position of Church Sacristan. The month of February 2020 marks 25 years.
Matthew, husband, father, grandfather, friend, wellspring of joy, serenity and peace was appointed our sacristan by the late Bishop John Mendes on the recommendation of Grace Mohammed and her husband the late Dr Ricardo Mohammed, members of the then Parish Council, in February 1995.
It was an extraordinary moment of grace for Matthew, the church and his lovely wife of 30 years Denise whose commitment to their marital union is one of genuine sacramental love.
Denise chuckles as she says, “Anything that makes Matthew happy, makes me happy.” His son, Darryl, adores his dad as well as his daughter-in-law and grandchildren.
Matthew demonstrates a culture of responsibility which presents both a joy and a challenge. He is a good ambassador of the Creator; he has a spirit that makes people comfortable. He is cool, patient, approachable, kind, warmly affable with collective level-headedness.
He desires to work for the common good, with selfless love and compassion. This is evident in his valued, accessible and meaningful relationship with every parishioner. Service to others in works of love is Matthew’s real motivation—nothing is too small for him to do or too big to achieve.
What can we discover about Matthew’s stewardship? Something extraordinary: Matthew serves in his own inimitable style with a high level of excellence. He has a deep spiritual and social connection to our parish community.
I have been privileged to be closely associated with Findley and I am always amazed at the ease with which he relates to all from children, to the youth, to the elderly and infirm. His ability to be himself, to be comfortable in his own skin and to do his work with impeccable ease speaks volumes.
I was impressed by his regular but gentle presence in the church and concluded that all pastoral work must be nourished by prayer.
Matthew celebrates all the Holy Masses and Services. He serves at baptisms, weddings, funerals, all school activities in the church. He rings the church bells, sells the Catholic News and graciously attends all social activities of the church. Matthew is a household name and is never overwhelmed by his workload.
Matthew is vital to our parish life as we rely on him for many things and we are always grateful for his service. In parish life, Matthew is a ‘behind the scenes’ person who makes the priest’s job less stressful as it helps him focus on the Ministerial aspects of his priesthood.
He is charged with the care of the Sacristy, the church and their contents. He carefully arranges the Liturgical books, the vestments, prepares the Holy Eucharist for the celebration of Holy Mass. This includes readying the wine, water and bread and putting them in place for the start of the Mass.
He sets up the church – ensuring that altar vessels are kept safe, that consumables like altar wine and altar bread are in adequate supply and the church is kept secure.
As he contemplates and internalises God’s Word daily, may Matthew remain open to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. May his perseverance bring extraordinary fruit to our church for years to come.
M – Motivating/Marvellous
A – Amazing/Approachable
T – Trusting/Truthful
T – Tranquil
H – Humble/Harmonious/Heavenly/Helpful
E – Esteemed/Engaging
W – Wholly Wondrous
On behalf of our parish priest Monsignor Christian D Pereira and the entire parish community of St Benedict’s RC Church and The Holy Innocents’ RC Church, Picton, we offer Matthew Findley our heartfelt congratulations.
God bless you Matthew Findley – may you always walk in sunshine.
Respectfully submitted in Christ, Theresa McLean, parishioner
Photos courtesy Betty David